UNIMPRESSED: Rebecca Tweedale with her children Kade, 7, Cooper, 5, and Leura, 2, pondering the lack of suitable parking at Glenwood State School.
UNIMPRESSED: Rebecca Tweedale with her children Kade, 7, Cooper, 5, and Leura, 2, pondering the lack of suitable parking at Glenwood State School. Carlie Walker

'Our kids are not safe': Bruce Hwy metres from school

WHEN Rebecca Tweedale drops her young children off at Glenwood State School, she is forced to battle with dozens of other cars and a highway just metres away.

"The Bruce Highway is about two metres away from where everyone parks and when we pull out to leave, we're pulling out onto a 100km/h zone," she said.

"There's no merging lane on the highway either so it's concerning."

In a bid to address the issue, Gympie MP Tony Perrett issued a question on notice in parliament to Minister for Education Grace Grace after he committed $100,000 to upgrading the car park in November last year.

Currently, drivers are being forced to use an open space between the Bruce Hwy and the school gate with a drop off zone only three metres from the highway.

"With only 82 students, ranging in age from 5 to 11, it is a major safety concern to be able to provide a defined and safe drop off zone and a safe pathway to access the main gate," Mr Perrett said.

"There is also the extremely unsafe conditions caused for drivers trying to access the carpark where they're having to swerve left and right trying to avoid the uneven and degraded surface.

"The actual carpark, situated adjacent to the Bruce Hwy, is eroding and with cars parking dangerously close to a two metre drop running parallel to the highway."

 

The highway is located just metres away from where children are dropped off at school.
The highway is located just metres away from where children are dropped off at school. Carlie Walker

For Mrs Tweedale, who has two children attend the school, the situation isn't good enough.

"I have to hold their hands as we go into the school, including my youngest who isn't in school yet," she said.

"I hold onto all three of them because I'm terrified one of them will accidentally run onto the highway."

Mrs Tweedale is one of many parents on the Glenwood State School P&C pushing for a safer car park and drop off zone.

On March 8, Mr Perrett asked Minister Grace when the upgrade would take place to ensure the safety of students and car park users.

In response, Minister Grace said it was not a Department of Education owned or controlled land and therefore the responsibility was "with Fraser Coast Regional Council and the Department of Transport and Main Roads".

She said the department had met with Council, P&C and DTMR regarding the issue and had since installed a fence to separate the highway from the car park. When approached for comment however, DTMR said they were not responsible for the car park.

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They said the department was mentioned as it was conducting an upgrade at a nearby intersection but parking was "not part of this work".

The Chronicle then spoke with the Fraser Coast Regional Council but a spokesman said they were under the impression DTMR was responsible for upgrading the car park.

However, the council spokesman said they would look further into the matter to ensure safety was made a priority.

With 70-80 students attending the school, which will soon celebrate its centenary, Mrs Tweedale hopes immediate action will follow.

"We hold major community events there," she said. "We vote there and there's always parents fighting over car parks and where they should be parking."


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